CTL response compensation for the loss of an immunodominant class I-restricted HSV-1 determinant

Angus T. Stock, Claerwen M. Jones, William R. Heath, Francis R. Carbone

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The T-cell response to even complex pathogens is often focused on only a handful of immunodominant determinants. Such narrow responses provoke a selective pressure that can drive the emergence of CTL escape variants, raising the question of whether a broader response, targeting multiple non-dominant peptides may be more beneficial. To examine the ability of the T-cell repertoire to respond to non-dominant determinants, we have investigated how mutating the dominant peptide in HSV affects the magnitude of the CD8+ T-cell response. We found that the CTL response to HSV lacking the dominant peptide was only modestly reduced compared with the wild-type virus and, surprisingly, this compensation occurred without any enhancement in the response to an established minor epitope. These findings are supportive of a malleable T-cell repertoire that can elicit strong responses to alternate, unknown determinants in the absence of the dominant response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycoprotein B
  • Herpesvirus
  • HSV
  • Immunodominance
  • MHC class I
  • T cell

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